Disk storage for the desktop, laptop or tablet: quick start guide
Any modern computing device incorporates a local data store. Until recently, as such an ordinary hard disks, but in recent years, widespread alternative solutions: SSD, hybrid drives (HHDD or SSHD) memory modules eMMC. In the not so distant future, the choice will become even more diverse with the influx of new data storage technologies, e.g., 3D Xpoint.
However, all this is the reason why not watching all the high fads manufacturers users feel confused when choosing the most suitable local storage for your computer. With this brief manual we will try to help you navigate the world of modern data storage systems.
Magnetic hard disk drives (HDD)
It is historically the oldest of disk devices used in personal computers since the 70-ies of the last century. But even today they are used in most desktop PCs and laptops – especially in the budget class systems. For recording information classic hard drives use an array rotating with a high speed magnetic plates. Unfortunately, this means that they are subject to mechanical wear during operation and are prone to physical damage.
Currently, magnetic hard disks are the slowest form of storage devices for local storage in the era of lightning fast RAM, the GPU and the CPU to low performance HDD is often a bottleneck that reduces the performance of the entire computer system. In addition, whereas in the desktop version most new hard drives offer the speed of rotation of the plates in the range from 7200 to 10,000 rpm, HDD devices that are used in laptops and hybrid computers are generally slower – 5400 rpm. And all because the hard drives in this class are the most efficient from the point of view of energy consumption, which is very important for mobile devices.
One undeniable plus of hard drives comes from the fact that this is the most old technology of storing information. We are talking about the best ratio price/GB. In other words – against the modern alternatives to ordinary HDD are outrageously cheap. For example, hard disk capacity 1 terabyte (1000 gigabytes) will cost from 3500 to 5000 rubles. At the same time SSDS with the same volume are offered at prices ranging from 25 000 to 35 000 rubles.
Solid-state disk device (SSD)
Technology, which is based on this class of devices goes back to the late 50-ies of the last century, but the first commercial SSD drives appeared on the market only at the beginning.
The principle of operation of SSDS differs sharply from that of hard drives on magnetic plates. In practice a semiconductor (or solid state) the device is an array of non-volatile flash memory. Even the slowest SSD is much faster than any hard drive. Moreover, SSDS require much less power and is much more resistant to mechanical damage as it does not contain moving parts.
In modern laptops, you can find two basic types of SSD. Some of them remind of the hard drives and use identical connection interface – SATA. Others rely on special micro slot (mSATA) and design more closely resemble the modules of RAM.
The main drawback of modern SSD devices is their high cost. Therefore, in most laptops and tablets used wheels with a capacity from 60 to 128 GB, at least 256-512 GB.
Hybrid drives (HHDD / SSHD)
This class of devices is an attempt to combine the best of both worlds – HDD and SSD. You can treat them as evolutionary refinement technology HDD as the basis of hybrid discs illustrates that same array of magnetic platters rotating at a certain speed. However, unlike conventional hard disk drives hybrid drives are equipped with SSD module with relatively skoromniy volume. He plays the role of a fast data buffer to speed up reading or writing of information from and to the hard disk. This increases the overall performance of the device, but the speed performance of SSD hybrid drives do not hold strongly enough.
Plus of this class of drives is that their price is not much higher than classic HDD. In many modern laptops, these drives usually have capacities up to 1 TB and SSD-buffer with a volume of 8-32 GB.
Embedded multimedia card (eMMC)
Embedded Multimedia Card is slower, but more affordable kind of SSD. This local memory is more typical for the segment of smartphones, but rarely found in tablets and hybrid laptops. From the point of view of performance eMMC takes place somewhere between HDD and SSD. As a rule, the volume of this memory is very modest – typically between 32 and 64 GB. Because only one Windows installation requires about 15-20 GB, for the owners of devices with eMMC may face a shortage of storage space for user data. That is why such devices usually offer the possibility of expanding the internal memory – most often via a microSD card slot.
As SSD, eMMC has no mechanical moving parts and consumes minimal energy.
How much space do you need?
We will end this article with a brief answer to one rather important question. The required amount of local memory varies within very wide limits and depends on the type of tasks for which you use a computer device. Of course, much is also determined by your private preferences and interests.
However, here are some approximate numbers:
- The Installation Of Windows – 20 GB
- Microsoft Office 2016 – up to 3 GB
- Adobe Photoshop CS6 – 2 GB
- A typical modern video game – 5-50 GB
- Movie (1.5 hours, BD Rip Full HD) – 5 GB
- Music (5-minute execution in MP3 format high quality — 320 kbit) – 10 MB